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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  August 27, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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>> i feel an enormous responsibility. i don't feel ebullient with aren't i great for having got this. i feel like wow, a lot of people are counting on me, they're hoping i'll be able to win and i'll be able to get america on track again. >> president obama is trying to tie romney to his party's right wing. >> he has signed up for positions, extreme positions that are very consistent with the positions that a number of house republicans have taken, and whether he actually believes in those or not, i have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he's talked about. >> paul ryan arrives here in tampa tomorrow, after a hometown send-off in wisconsin. one reason republicans say they put wisconsin in play. >> wow, look at this. man.
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it's good to be home. it's good to be home. it is so good to be home. >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live at the site of the republican national convention in tampa. we are watching tropical storm isaac as it continues to strengthen on a northwest path through the gulf of mexico, bringing the threat of significant storm surges to the north gulf coast. it's expected to become a hurricane, likely category 1, before it makes landfall sometime on tuesday. gulf coast residents are preparing particularly in new orleans, where isaac could hit exactly seven years to the day since katrina hit. moments ago, louisiana governor bobby jindal said he will be focusing on storm preparations, not on this convention. >> let me get one thing out of the way. i will not be speaking or attending the republican convention in florida. certainly party conventions are interesting but there's no time for politics here in louisiana along our coast. >> msnbc's tamryn hall is live
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in new orleans. you're looking at a real potential crisis here. how is new orleans preparing, how is it different, how do they know that the levees are going to hold this time? >> well, you know what, the army corps of engineers, when i was here just a couple years ago for the five-year anniversary of katrina, expressed great confidence in the levee system, saying many times over it is not the system that failed this great american city. as you pointed out, seven years ago to the day, they're expecting this latest storm. let me give you some information. you talked about bobby jindal. he called a state of emergency. 53,000 residents in st. charles parish, near new orleans, told to evacuate as well, mississippi governor phil bryant, florida governor rick scott and alabama governor robert bentley also declared states of emergency here. it's interesting, i spent a lot of time as you know in new orleans. i've called so many people this morning. we landed only a few hours ago. and it is that same kind of, you know, dual reaction. you have some people that i spoke with who said listen, if
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there's a power outage, i'm going to the cash machine because the atm machines won't work. one friend said he's going to the grocery store to try to cook dinner, have some food available and hunker down. while others that have been living in new orleans quite honestly for decades had a similar cautionary, you know, tale of not knowing what to expect. we also know this time around, we will not see thousands of people from this community hoarded to the dome, nor will we see that at the convention center. new orleans says it is prepared, there is a new mayor in charge, as you know, mitch landrieu, so the city has an eerie silence. when we arrived in the airport, of course, we are arriving while throngs of other people are leaving out ahead of the storm. so it's interesting, we're not very far away from the french quarter we hich is on a higher level. the thing i keep hearing over and over is optimism. they're hoping the worst does not happen. >> the quiet before the storm. thanks so much. thanks for being with us today.
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joining me now, hurricane expert from the weather channel, bryan norcross. bryan, what's the latest track? >> let me show you. indeed, it is right in the direction of new orleans but it's also in the direction of the mississippi/alabama coast and western florida panhandle. currently 65 miles an hour. hurricane hunters out there investigating have found some winds a little bit stronger. we'll see if it now becomes a hurricane in the next advisory. pressure down, the lower the number, the stronger the storm. heading to the northwest, right in the direction of louisiana, mississippi and alabama for the worst of it. here's the satellite picture. it's still not a real well-organized storm so we have some confidence that this huge circulation is not going to be able to get super-strong by the time it gets up there, but the strength is not, i don't think, going to be the issue. also want to mention for you there in tampa, that there's very bad weather just to the east. whether you get it in tampa bay area, it's not clear yet, but
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orlando and the east coast of florida still getting very bad fringe effects. here, i think is the most important thing about this storm. up here in new orleans, biloxi, mobile, up there. look at the timing here. if it is on track and becomes a hurricane later today, then we are going to look at the morning hours so here we are, tomorrow morning with the center here, but the wind effects already affecting the coast and at that point, water is being piled there into the area to the east of new orleans and then by evening, it's right near new orleans, it's still there wednesday morning. so a long duration event, power outages, people trapped at home. not the severe event but the long duration pounding that is the threat from this one. >> briefly, what about tornado action? have you seen any signs of that and obviously, up through the coast? >> yeah, i think we'll see some tornadoes, especially on the right side, alabama, mississippi, florida, maybe some
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in louisiana, and torrential rain, some areas, 20 inches of rain and combine that with this water being pushed up against the coast, flooding will be an extensive problem not just at the coast but also well inland. >> bryan norcross on top of it all at the weather channel. thank you. of course, the storm is having its impact here. the republicans are not having an easy time of it. first it was hurricane akin. now tropical storm isaac. joining me now, our team of nbc correspondents on the convention floor, kelly o'donnell, luke russert and john yang. kelly, walk us through this abbreviated schedule. what's going to happen at 2:00 today and how they're squeezing speakers into the next couple of days? >> well, you know, change is always a part of the theme of elections and here it applies to the schedule, to the speakers' list. they have been able to compress things so at 2:00, the gavel will come down. now, that will happen right behind us here and of course, we think of these conventions as tv shows and part social gatherings in a host city like tampa but it
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is also about the rules of how the convention works so gaveling in is important. then they really want to direct everybody's attention away from the front and over here to the u.s. national debt clock. that's been running showing the current u.s. national debt. they are going to flip yet another switch and they are going to show us what is the debt from the start of the convention over the next few days. they want to be able to make that point. they're calling it a compelling visual reinforcement of what they want this message to be, that it is an economic convention they want to be talking about. they want to emphasize their critique of the bush administration and they are going to do that by trying to have people keep an eye on that clock to see how much the debt increases over the course of these days. speeches are changing, they're doing mike checks right now, but they're getting ready just a little while now, less than an hour, a short ten-minute start to this convention, then it all goes back on hold. >> thanks to kelly and luke, what about the polling, the matchup, the battleground states?
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today's "washington post" poll shows 47-46, romney advantage obviously within the margin of error but having talked to the romney camp today at a breakfast briefing, they are very confident with these numbers. they say it's a very favorable way, a tied race, to go into their convention. >> it's a tied race going into the convention and a few interesting things of note in that poll, when it comes to the issue of the economy, it seems that americans do believe mitt romney is the right guy to get the economy back on track. when you look at other issues, how the republicans would want to deal with medicare, women's rights, who understands the middle class, the president still wins on that. so heading into this convention, america says okay, mitt romney, you might have a better idea to work and handle the economy, but what are you going to do on those other issues. that's why this convention is so important for mitt romney to try to firm up his stand. i'm standing in front of where the virginia delegation is going to be. mitt romney trails president obama in terms of likability factor in the "the washington post" poll 61-27. can he use this convention to talk to folks from virginia,
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from ohio, to say you trust me with the economy, now begin to like me and come over and put me over the top. that's the hope from romney land and this convention is where they will try to do that. >> thanks to luke. john yang, what about the tone of the convention? they've got to be looking at new orleans, looking at the storm. how do you do a balloon drop on the same night, for instance, as you have people, some still homeless from katrina, suffering possible huge rain, if nothing even worse from this storm? >> that's absolutely right. the presence of isaac may not be felt outside the convention hall but certainly felt inside the convention hall. certainly with some absences, the louisiana delegation as you just reported, governor bobby jindal not coming, alabama governor robert bentley not coming. the home state governor, the host governor, governor rick scott saying he will not participate in any convention activities as long as his state is being affected by isaac. convention organizers and party
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officials are very concerned about the effects of what could be a split screen convention, on the one side if you talk about the balloon drops, the celebrations of mitt romney's nomination here, on the other side, a storm, a hurricane battering new orleans. worse yet, new orleans again under water. they say that there are some suggestions here that further tweaks, further modifications to the schedule are not out of the question. andrea? >> indeed. they will be calling audibles, you can bet that. thanks so much, john yang, kelly o'donnell and luke russert. we are only just getting started. coming up, more political all-stars. virginia governor bob mcdonnell, antonio villareigosa, michael steele, chris cillizza, mark halperin and tom brokaw. all eyes on isaac. where will the storm make landfall? this is "andrea mitchell reports."
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i like my speech. our sons are already in tampa and they say it's terrific there, and we're looking forward to a great convention. >> can you give us a little preview? >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. >> is mitt romney ready for his big moment? we'll find out here in tampa when the candidate tries to connect with voters across the nation. joining me here in tampa at the forum, chris cillizza, msnbc
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contributor and managing editor of pos politics.com, mark halperin, senior political analyst for "time" and msnbc, and politico editor in chief, john harris. we brought out all of you guys today to give us our daily fix on mitt romney, the speech, how important and how important in this context. chris? >> important. this is easy to lose sight of the fact that for people like us who have followed mitt romney since 2007 or earlier, when he began running for president, this is not someone who beyond knowing his name, most average folks know much about. this is a chance on national network television for mitt romney to say here's who i am, the character of me that you probably have seen on television if you live in a swing state by the obama campaign -- >> over and over and over again. >> -- singing "america the beautiful" is not just all there is. i think it's a critical moment. it's interesting, too, because he's not someone who has a reputation for really giving that big speech.
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he's more of a power point, slides business kind of guy. this is a different thing for him. we know from the pool reports, he was practicing yesterday. this is a big moment for mitt romney to say what you may have heard about me is not right and this is who i am in these last 70 plus days before the election. >> mark, in 1992 we were in madison square garden, the last time a candidate really successfully reintroduced himself as the man from hope, bill clinton. this kind of moment, does it need to be at this level? he's got a "the washington post" poll today where the race is still statically essentially tied. >> that poll has kind of shaken people's perceptions up. it's one poll, not clear if it represents where the race really is. people i think should have been stunned on friday night when governor romney himself told a radio interview something that had been out there in the ether which is the speech wasn't done friday night. he did practice for the last two days but if you said here's the guy who must give a great speech, who has never really given a great speech, and who
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isn't the best speaker in the world, you would think he probably should have had this speech written several weeks ago and been practicing. on the other hand, i have found with governor romney, when he's at peace with what he needs to do, when he knows what he needs to say, whether it's to destroy someone in a debate or give a major presentation, if he's at peace with himself he can do it. my sense from watching that video, bause i am like dr. phil, joyce brothers and spock, he seems at peace. i just ran into his son tag in the lobby. he said both his parents to him seemed totally at peace. >> we were at a briefing this morning, bloomberg news briefing, john, where ed gillespie said if he were in the white house, looking at that "the washington post" poll, he would be throwing up in his trash can today. they feel pretty confident, although when you look at the battleground states, it's a different story. they've got a very narrow needle to thread. >> i believe what ed gillespie was speaking the truth in what he said, that the status quo is
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very troubling for people in the white house. what he probably didn't say, and i wasn't at your bloomberg briefing because i was at my own politico briefing, but what he didn't say but it's palpable among republicans here, deep frustration. this should be a winnable race. the major issue is the economy. president obama does not have confidence among the electorate in his leadership skills. that sounds like a recipe for a losing election but at best it's tied and probably in reality, president obama is ahead. it's precisely because of this issue we're talking about, mitt romney's failure to establish a compelling personal connection for his leadership. >> just a brief round the table here, chris cillizza, the biggest moment is the speech but what about the ann romney speech? that is the opportunity to narrow the gender gap and fill in personal details. >> we talk a lot about narrative and how these three, four days fill the narrative. i think ann romney -- mitt romney has to round himself out. in the "the washington post"/abc
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poll, you saw that 60% of people said that mitt romney, his policies if elected will favor the rich, not the middle class. the problem is that most people have some sense of if they have any, he's kind of a rich business guy, might have been a governor somewhere. they don't have any sense, i would say most people including us don't have that much of a sense of mitt romney, the man. that's really what's being sold at these conventions. ann romney is a unique surrogate who obviously knows him better than anyone and probably is their best chance at selling that. probably even better than mitt romney. >> he will talk more about faith than he has. he gave us a speech on faith five years ago but we are being told and you are seeing signs of it, he's going to talk more about the softer side of ministering, which he was very deeply involved in. >> if he does that, and he does it well, i think for some of us it will beg the question, why does he wait until here, but it is something that they telegraphed with the breakfast we were at this morning, eric fehrnstrom, who worked with governor romney a long time, presented a point of view that said governor romney has talked about this many times before.
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but we have never seen him tell the stories that as reporters have written about them are quite compelling. of serving as the leader of his church in his area. now, the left will come after him for a variety of reasons on those things but those stories are about the most humanizing stories we have ever heard about mitt romney and if they come out of his own mouth, it will be quite something. >> he has to sell himself not as richy-rich but mr. fix-it on the economy. >> former governor haley barbour of mississippi had for me what's been the best line of the convention so far. he said, he was making chris' point, the only thing people know about mitt romney, the average person, is things that barack obama has told them. he said in most people's minds, he's a plutocrat and his wife is a known equestrian. >> dancing horses. thank you all, john harris, mark halperin, chris cillizza. see you later. the republicans have to change the tone of their party as new orleans braces for a potentially deadly storm.
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no...we're not. ♪ ask an allstate agent about the value plan. are you in good hands? obviously we want to pray for anyone that's in the pathway of this storm, but the message is still the same, that all americans deserve a better future and that this president, whatever you think about him, the one thing that's true that everyone can agree on, he didn't fulfill the promises he made in 2008. >> republican chairman reince priebus on the "today" show this morning trying to balance his welcome for delegates here with obvious concern about what's happening elsewhere in the gulf coast. joining me now, msnbc analyst and former republican chairman, michael steele. nbc news political analyst and former pennsylvania governor, ed rendell. romney campaign advisor, ben weber. welcome, all. first to you, michael steele, why tampa?
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that was your decision. >> that wasn't my decision alone. 168 members voted unanimously -- >> you could have vetoed it. who comes to the gulf coast in hurricane season? >> look, this is the chance you take, i guess, in life when you got to take those chances, particularly when you have a diamond place to come to. we're excited to be here. we vetted this through. everybody knows what the risks were and what the upsides and downsides were and the upsides clearly, clearly outweighed the downsides. to all those folks out here who are whining and blaming and second-guessing, get over it. if you get wet, roll with it. you're in tampa, for goodness sakes. enjoy the convention. we're about to nominate the next president of the united states. the republicans are psyched for this. i just think all of this noise right now is just no way to start the convention. look at it this way. if we were some place else in the country, we would still be focused on this region because the storm is going to hit in
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louisiana, particularly new orleans, so as we saw in 2008, the nominees, the party would still have to take all these things into consideration. it doesn't matter where you hold the convention, you go with it, you look at what's going on around you, you respond when you need to. otherwise you have a good time. >> ed rendell, when we talk about how you have to change the tone or at least the schedule of the convention because of the storm, democrats are also changing their plans. joe biden was going to be here in florida. he's canceled that, obviously. he was going to do at least three cities in florida, including tampa, as a counterpoint to the republicans. the president's schedule is in flux. he was going to do a college tour of battleground states. now he could be adding something. he has to think about the optics. everyone in politics, remember, it's what happened when george w. bush did not pay attention soon enough to katrina. >> well, let me begin by saying i echo what michael said. no matter where you were, if you
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were in seattle, you would have to stop if this turns out to be bad, you would have to stop and maybe tone down some of the rhetoric. michael is exactly right. florida is essential. i don't see any electoral plan that will give mitt romney the presidency without carrying florida. i think this was a good choice. in terms of what the convention has to do and what the president and vice president have to do, it depends on how severe it really is. let's all pray that it still veers past or falls short of new orleans and doesn't hit new orleans square on, because lord knows that city deserves a break. and let's hope the damage is relatively minor. but if it's significant, i think everybody has to change their tone. the democrats who aren't here in tampa certainly can't be engaged in partisan sniping, and the republicans, they've got to get their message across but i think that message has to be toned down if it's a serious situation where people are in real danger.
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>> what are the challenges for mitt romney? you are behind the scenes, you see the plans that are being made. what is the big message that he needs to deliver here? >> he needs to deliver the message that he is capable of delivering the change that he's promised. one of the most disturbing things in american politics today, michael and governor know this, is over 60% of the country thinks we're on the wrong track. a plurality or majority of americans thought we were on the wrong track for more than a decade now. that's a pessimism our country hasn't seen before. governor romney has laid out a plan, talked about turning the country around. he has to convince a skeptical electorate that anything can turn our country around because they thought they voted for that four years ago and it didn't happen. >> ron paul had a big rally here last night. he has not officially endorsed mitt romney and they are talking about the future. what kind of force is still on the right and in the libertarian community that mitt romney has not made peace with?
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>> i think -- well, i think there are two parts to your question. the first part is that force is a significant one. they're grassroots, they're activists, they're committed and conservative and they believe firmly in the constitution and the freedoms espoused therein and they want to fight for that. they want to make sure the party they align themselves with, because not all these folks are necessarily republicans, they align themselves with the gop and the party has an opportunity to capture that energy and momentum and respond to it. i think you will hear, not knowing mitt romney's speech, i think you will hear those overtones and that hand out to those activists in the party who may as you put it still be skeptical, to join him in defeating barack obama and righting the course of the country. >> those people will not sit out those election. we have a lot in the state of minnesota. they cause friction with the regulars but they are going to vote and i think they will vote republican.
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>> ed rendell, do you agree with ed gillespie that people in the white house should be throwing up in their trash can? >> i think looking at the "the washington post" poll, we have a very real chance of what almost happened in 2004. if john kerry had gotten 71,000 more votes in ohio, he wins the electoral college and loses the popular vote by three million votes. i think looking at that poll, there's a real chance that the president gets re-elected in the electoral college and could lose the popular vote. >> interesting food for thought. >> ed rendell, thanks so much. governor, good to see you. up next, live from tampa, another governor, sitting governor, virginia governor bob mcdonnell. what democrats are doing here in tampa. and we're live on the gulf coast, where residents are getting ready for isaac. managing my diabetes is part of my life, between taking insulin and testing my blood sugar... is this part of your life? freestyle lite test strips? why, are they any... beep! wow, that hardly needs
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they're still here trying to launch their own counter-convention and rebut the republican message. joining me now, los angeles mayor and chairman of the democratic national convention, antonio villaraigosa. stopping here in tampa on your way to charlotte. >> i think where republicans and democrats agree is on this, that job number one right now is to the public safety, the health of the people of florida, louisiana and all of the gulf coast. i think whether you're a democrat or republican, you take off your hat and you put your country first. i know that mayor landrieu in new orleans is getting ready, so is bobby jindal in louisiana and fema and the federal government are a lot more ready than we were seven years ago. >> you think the president and joe biden should suspend all campaigning during this emergency? >> as you said, joe biden's already suspended what he was going to do, the president's schedule's in flux.
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i can tell you all of us are focused on making sure people are safe in this very serious weather condition. >> that may be only a brief respite in a really nasty campaign. here is mitt romney on fox this sunday talking about his perception of the way the democrats and the president have been attacking him. >> i think people have seen this kind of a character assassination and divisiveness as being very different than the campaign of hope and change which he ran on originally. >> their point of view, i can tell you from being at a briefing with the romney campaign team today, is that they defend themselves on the welfare ad. they say that that was not intended in any way other than to challenge the president on a legitimate issue. >> they misrepresented his record as a point of fact, because what he said to the states is that they're going to have to make sure they have a work requirement. he didn't let them out of that work requirement.
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i've not seen the president or the campaign in any way assassinate governor romney's character. >> deputy campaign manager did suggest that he could be a felon for his tax returns that they had not seen, and there was other really strong language, including the advertisement that suggested that mitt romney was somehow indirectly responsible for the death of the woman. >> the vast majority of this campaign has been on the issues, on the record of mr. romney. 47th out of 50th in job creation. he said he was a job creator, he created 100,000 jobs when he was in the private sector. fact check showed that he didn't. he said that the deficit was the number one priority, yet he put more debt on the people of massachusetts per capita than
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any governor in that four-year period of time. and the romney/ryan budget would basically create a situation with extending tax cuts to the super rich, putting tax cuts on the middle class to pay for it and ending medicare as we know it, take about 29 years according to independent analysis to actually get the deficit down. this campaign has been focused on the issues primarily. there has been back and forth from time to time, little strain, if you will, but for the most part it's focused on the issues. i haven't heard the president or the campaign in any way try to attack his character. >> mayor, thank you very much. we'll of course be seeing you in charlotte if not sooner. >> look forward to it. thank you. another update on tropical storm isaac as it swirls and intensifies into the gulf. right now, isaac is moving to the north and west, expected to form as a hurricane later today or early tomorrow. so far, the governors of alabama, louisiana and mississippi have all declared
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states of emergency and the mayor of new orleans, mitch landrieu, has also declared a state of emergency for his city. hurricane warnings have been issued from just east of morgan city, louisiana to florida while tropical storm warnings are still in effect in florida and parts of the gulf. the national hurricane center is warning gulf coast residents to take the threat seriously and be prepared to evacuate overnight if necessary. nbc is in gulfport, mississippi. tell us what the situation is there. >> reporter: right now, the state of mississippi has mobilized more than 1500 airmen and soldiers to assist in whatever capacity they will be needed. they've handed out locally here 10,000 sandbags as this whole region right now, as you mentioned earlier, this entire region along the panhandle are under a hurricane watch. it's really an entire region right now that's on alert. this is an area that was just absolutely devastated during
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hurricane katrina. right now, as the track is still going toward louisiana, it puts mississippi on the eastern side or what they call the dirty or intense side of the storm, because the northeast quadrant and southeast quadrant of the storms will bring a lot of wave action and water action. they're expecting about 6 to 12 feet of storm surge here so you can imagine that's something that they have reckon with here as well. we talked with a lot of local residents at this point. they say they're still trying to see if they are going to determine if they're going to leave or not and that's going to be solidifying in the next 24 hours or so. >> thank you very much for that update on the storm track. mitt romney's party is hearing calls from prominent republicans to be more inclusive, especially on women's issues and immigration. here's jeb bush on "meet the press" with david gregory. >> our demographics are changing and we have to change not necessarily our core beliefs but how we -- the tone of our message and the message and the
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intensity of it for sure. >> but long term conservative principles if they're to be successful and implemented, there has to be a concerted effort to reach out to a much broader audience than we do today. >> joining me now is governor bob mcdonnell, chairman of the republican governors association and chairman of the republican platform committee here as well. good to see you. what about the calls from jeb bush and also dan quayle, former vice president dan quayle, saying that the republican party needs to reestablish its philosophy of a big tent with principles, the philosophy you hear from time to time which is unfortunate is one of exclusion rather than inclusion. you have to be expanding the base, expanding the party, because compared to the democratic party, the republican party is the minority party. that's dan quayle in the "new york times." >> i agree. we should be a big tent party without compromising our principles. we want to have addition, not subtraction or division. i think that that's what you're going to get with mitt romney because he's going to focus on things that everybody can agree on. there's social issues where
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people are different but everybody agrees we need to get people back to work. >> how do you deal with the todd akin situation? he is refusing to get out. everyone has called on him, mitt romney said it is damaging the party and hurting women or hurting the party and damaging women, the way he phrased it. >> immediately when he said that, i think there was round condemnation, these are wrong, offensive, not based on facts. mitt romney, paul ryan, people asked him to get out. it's up to the people of missouri. that doesn't affect the overall party or the overall message of mitt romney. he's been very clear that this race is about getting our country out of debt, back to work. he's got a very good plan for uplifting the middle class based on trade and work force development and debt reduction and small business and entrepreneurship and that's his message to the people. the independent voters, the last 10% or so undecided voters, that's what they're focused on, not these other issues. >> but you've got the gender gap. you have an advantage with men but a disadvantage in all the polling with women. that is traditional for the republican party. but this year, more than 20 states including your own, very
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controversially, have rolled back women's access to reproductive freedom and also to screenings for health care, for cancer screenings, planned parenthood. is that the right signal to be sending when you're trying to signal that there's a broad tent, a big tent? >> i disagree with something in your premise. first of all, the gap is about 6%, i think it's 49-43, obama. >> ten points in our poll, eight points in other polls. >> but your point is, it's been traditional that there's been some of that gap. i think starting with this convention, the more people hear the vision of mitt romney on jobs and financial security, which i think are very important to women, taking care of their kids and getting them into a good job and a good education, they hear romney's plans and vision and look at obama's terrible record with unemployment over 8% and a $16 trillion debt and the lowest number of entrepreneurs in 30 years, i think they will more and more say this really is a fiscal security election. on those issues, they may not
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like some of the other issues or views mitt might have on life or family, but on this issue, i think there's broad agreement. so i think we are looking for ways to include more people. our record was not exclusionary in virginia. we actually expanded dramatically breast cancer screenings and other screenings for women in virginia so we're trying to do the best we can to make those things a reality, expanded health care in virginia. >> bob mcdonnell, we have to leave it there. thank you very much. why do we need conventions? tom brokaw shares conventional wisdom, unconventional wisdom about conventions. [ female announcer ] the power of green coffee extract is now in our new starbucks refreshers™ -- a breakthrough in natural energy. made with real fruit, starbucks refreshers™ are delicious low calorie drinks you can feel good about. ♪ rethink how you re-energize. ♪
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out! your kind is not welcome here! nor your odd predilections! miracle whip is tangy and sweet, not odd. [ villager 1 ] it's evil! if you'd try it, you'd know. she speaketh the truth! [ villagers gasping ] reverend? ♪ can i have some? ♪ somewhere on the floor of this convention, surrounded by confetti -- >> brian and i feel very, very privileged to have reserved
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seats for andrea "boom-boom" mitchell and the dance of the republican balloons. bunch of balloon-wielding thugs down there. free andrea mitchell! >> unscripted moment from the republican balloon drop four years ago. will the party be able to celebrate this year as a potentially dangerous storm heads towards new orleans? nbc news special correspondent tom brokaw joins me now. what a privilege to have you. >> i remember that moment very well. you were heroic. >> i couldn't see. >> i know you couldn't but we could hear you. we knew you were still there and we were prepared to send the emts if necessary to get you out of there. >> you have seen so many of these. i've seen a good number of them myself. the last time we had an unscripted truly free-for-all, if you will, was kansas city, 1976. that was a contested convention. you had jim baker, gerald ford counting delegates and outmaneuvering the reagan team who came back four years later. >> the mississippi delegation was the key to that one. people may not remember this,
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but haley barbour's good friend -- there i am. my hair history once again on television. >> we all have that. >> the mississippi delegation was the key. there was a real tug-of-war going over where they would go, would they go to gerald ford or ronald reagan. there were more probably inclined for ronald reagan but clark reid, who i hope may be watching today, in fact, he's still there in mississippi and he decided they would go with president ford and that made the difference, and president ford got the nomination. very strong challenge from president reagan. in 1980, we had another kind of unscripted moment which was that ronald reagan was trying to get vice presidential candidate and jerry ford was at the bargaining table with him for most of that night. people forget that. people also have to remember that in 1980, in new york, it was teddy kennedy and jimmy carter in an unscripted moment. teddy was not going to get the
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nomination but was still going to be a big player on the convention floor and he gave one of the great memorable speeches. >> the dream will never die. >> the dream will never die. he electrified the crowd. poor jimmy carter was on the stage, trying to get his attention and senator kennedy, for his own reasons, chose to ignore him which was i thought unfair to the president. >> teddy kennedy never took his outstretched hand. you wrote a piece, an opinion piece for the "new york times" online saying what about one day, one prime time night. why do we need this whole deal, why couldn't we squeeze it down to one day? >> that was part of the debate today in the "new york times" op-ed page. all the other participants agreed in one form or another that this has become an anachronistic exercise in american politics. the fear is we are turning off voters, they don't feel engaged in american politics anymore. it feels like a separate universe to them.
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what happens is the city demand you come and spend x amount of days because they need the revenue if they are going to spend all that money on law enforcement but why not have a day of meetings not covered by television, then one very big day with the keynote speech by governor christie that leads into the introduction of the presidential candidate by the vice presidential candidate and the families christie and by satellite transmit all of that to football stadiums around the country, big screens with get out the vote rallies, in denver or the coliseum in los angeles or in chicago and get people more engaged in again in the political process. we will spend three days here and lofts of money for somethin we already know the outcome up. well hear romney's acceptance speech. and as haley barber has been saying, here and elsewhere, it is how he has it reintroduce
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himself to the american public. >> tom brokaw, i love it. thank you, and love you. >> we've known each other a long time, andrea. >> yes we have. >> next on andrea mitchell reports live from the national republican convention in tampa. and she suggested i try boost complete nutritional drink to help get the nutrition i was missing. now i drink it every day, and i love the great taste. [ female announcer ] boost has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to help keep bones strong and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a delicious taste. your favorite patient is here! [ dad ] i choose great taste. i choose boost.
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thinking about. remember that even more so than the iraq war. george bush's handling with michael brown and director of fema the at time. his handling of hurricane katrina in many ways led to the final slide of his approval ratings. it dredges up lots of things. putting aside the obvious concern for victims and everything there, just politically, the split screen imagery of the gulf coast and here and if there is parties and rallies. it is just a further challenge to handle that they would rather not. >> it is a matter of tone. they can do it in their speeches but it is the other optics. plus he is currently planning a big indianapolis rally leading into this convention. there may be a suspension of politicking on all sides. >> the goal is you can rrev up squiemt excitement going into his speech but can it rival what is going on in the gulf coast. >> does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. tomorrow, governor rick snyder,
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for forum santorum aid alice stewart. . bill burton, david brodie, major garrett, susan page, mike kranish and jim vandehei also. we are following breaking news, tropical storm isaac. in the next hour we will get the latery advisory on the storms. also joined by new orleans mayor. also jefferson parish, many of you will recognize the names, devastated by hurricane katrina. how are they preparing this time around? also, breaking news, republican convention in tampa where the gavel is set to come down to open the convention at the top of the hour and we know that isaac has already had an impact on that convention. all of that coming up for you in just three minutes. the blissful pause just before that rich sweetness touches your lips. the delightful discovery, the mid-sweetening realization that you have the house all to yourself.
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